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2017 Forester XT Touring
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There is some really interesting news going on in here. So I installed my speakers two weeks ago and used wooden adapters which I cut myself. They are certainly not ideal, however I will be ordering some from phenryiv1 and see how they work. The wooden ones work well and I wish I had taken pictures while my panels were off, but I did not. I need to go back in there and move my crossovers though because I put them in a spot that can and will get wet, so I will take pics then, and then replace my wooden ones with the properly made ones and take pics of those too.

I have to say, the JL Audio C2650 Component (front) and Coaxial (Rear) are a HUGE improvement, however do leave some to be desired, all depending on what level you are trying to achieve. They covers highs and mids well but the bass is lacking. Just this weekend I installed the Kenwood KSC-SW10 underseat subwoofer and that made the perfect addition to my sound. Nothing earth shattering, but it will rattle your brain a little if you want.

The Kicker tweeters are $100 on eBay, that seems very very high to me, but I just disconnected them all together so that they wouldnt interfere with my current set up. I may order some other tweeters and patch them in up there, but for now the JL tweeters that came with the component set are surface mounted on the wooden adapter in the door.

I also added some 80mil GT Mat sound deadener to all the doors and under the kenwood sub. Honestly don't know the improvement to sound quality as I installed the deadener with the speakers, so it was an all at once upgrade. But it certainly helped with road noise.
 

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2014 forester i cvt
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15 Posts
Comes right off with a knife. Used a utility knife with a new blade and worked my way around. After they were cut out used some rough sandpaper to smooth things up. Also have to cut off a tab in the inside that holds the wires. Be careful to not cut yourself and not to brake the bracket.
Put a strip of foam with the sticky part on the surface between the speaker and the bracket.. Then drill holes and used washers on the front and the back and nylock nuts. These speakers are Polk MM . They fit just barely. If they were any bigger around they would not fit. Found a space on the top of the door where the crossovers fit. Also had to drill a hole in the top of the bracket to fit the 4 wires in.
Now if I can get the parts to install a head unit in can finish up.
 

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2014 Subaru Forester Automatic
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Improving the audio.

RE. improving the horrible '14 audio system. I lack the electronic knowledge and am too old to do the sort of DIY all you good folks are able to do. I did order the Subaru tweeters at the time of purchase last month which were dealer installed and have improved the high end - see my #37 comment above. Now I would like to improve the mid ranges and bass. Does anyone have an idea where I might turn to have this done? Are the Subaru replacement speakers worth the expense of both equipment and installation by dealer? Or could I do better at an independent audio shop - then what speakers would work in the new Forester? Finally, is the expense of doing this worth with the OEM H.U.? Any helpful input would be greatly appreciated. T.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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RE. improving the horrible '14 audio system. I lack the electronic knowledge and am too old to do the sort of DIY all you good folks are able to do. I did order the Subaru tweeters at the time of purchase last month which were dealer installed and have improved the high end - see my #37 comment above. Now I would like to improve the mid ranges and bass. Does anyone have an idea where I might turn to have this done? Are the Subaru replacement speakers worth the expense of both equipment and installation by dealer? Or could I do better at an independent audio shop - then what speakers would work in the new Forester? Finally, is the expense of doing this worth with the OEM H.U.? Any helpful input would be greatly appreciated. T.
Any 6.5" speaker should work for you. You may just need thicker adapters if you get deep speakers. I used JL Audio C2650 (front) and C2650x (rear) and they cleared easily with the 3/4" adapter I made from wood. Ideally you want to install yourself to reduce cost but I can understand if you are not able, in which case your two options are dealer or car fx shop. The dealer will ONLY install their Kicker upgrade, which is a decent upgrade, however, the cost/quality ratio is not good compared to other speakers from say, Polk, JL, Focal, etc. I am still running off of my stock HU and the new speakers are a vast improvement from OEM, however my next project is installing a new HU (Pioneer AVIC-Z140BH) which I expecting to have incredible enhancements.

The main problem that still exists is there are no 2014 FXT specific speaker adapters, so I'm not sure how a car fx shop would be able to install new speakers. Not to mention they will charge you about the same to install the speakers as the dealership.
 

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Any 6.5" speaker should work for you. You may just need thicker adapters if you get deep speakers. I used JL Audio C2650 (front) and C2650x (rear) and they cleared easily with the 3/4" adapter I made from wood....The dealer will ONLY install their Kicker upgrade, which is a decent upgrade, however, the cost/quality ratio is not good compared to other speakers from say, Polk, JL, Focal, etc...

The main problem that still exists is there are no 2014 FXT specific speaker adapters, so I'm not sure how a car fx shop would be able to install new speakers. Not to mention they will charge you about the same to install the speakers as the dealership.
DubbleThePleasure: Thanks so much for your advice about my base "Limited" audio system....Your point of cost/quality ratio of the Kicker upgrades is well taken, one I was also concerned about. Too, Subie service techs may not have much familiarity with installing audio upgrades in the backwater where I live - it's probably a rare task for them; and apart from the better choice of speakers, an audio shop, where they do nothing else, might be the better option. On the other hand, as you point out, they may not have the proper adapter parts. Altogether a bit of a conundrum. Please post your results when you substitute the HU with a better unit. Sound improvement worth it? Fit and looks - will it be an eyesore of difference or will it fit snugly and be visually acceptable?

I've also speculated that because of the adverse feedback Subaru must be getting about their base audio system they might, after a while, make the Harmon-Kardon system a standalone option as an aftermarket purchase next year - through the dealership? And that might be the answer for someone like myself. Give it a little time? T.
 

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2014 2.5X Premium CVT
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Do replacement speakers improve the crummy FM sound? Even on the '14 the old problem exists where streaming audio quality is much better than the radio and I'm not sure that only speakers will fix it.
 

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I will let you know how the new HU works out. I know it will look sharp and will fill the dash nicely. There will be no gaps or eyesores.

You are right, time is the only solution to your stereo woes.
Thanks - I look forward to hearing of your end result. T.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Do replacement speakers improve the crummy FM sound? Even on the '14 the old problem exists where streaming audio quality is much better than the radio and I'm not sure that only speakers will fix it.
Aftermarket speakers did not fix my terrible FM sound. I'm so confused by the weird sounds that FM makes in this car, especially when listening to sports talk radio.
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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My FM radio sounds good with a new HU and speakers. I can't get AM at all at the moment but luckily the only AM station I listen to is broadcast in HD on FM.

Here is how my new HU looks in the Forester.

 

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Even on the '14 the old problem exists where streaming audio quality is much better than the radio and I'm not sure that only speakers will fix it.
Right.. Whats wrong with the 14 Fozzie FM radio ?? It sounds way terrible and the volume goes up and down as if it appears to be adding/removing sound channels automatically. AUX/USB is much much better although not anywhere near Fozzies' competitors.

I like more bass in my songs and I am looking for a good audio shop in and around chicago area for the speaker upgrades. Anyone who has information please share.

Mine is a '14 Limited.
 

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Aftermarket speakers did not fix my terrible FM sound. I'm so confused by the weird sounds that FM makes in this car, especially when listening to sports talk radio.[/QUOT]

I don't understand. In your earlier post #46 you wrote: "...I used JL Audio C2650 (front) and C2650x (rear) and they cleared easily with the 3/4" adapter I made from wood....I am still running off of my stock HU and the new speakers are a vast improvement from OEM"

So, with respect, what are the facts? DTP? T.
 

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Not 100% sure I know what you are asking but he is talking about new speakers and speaker adapters. He said nothing about replacing the stock HU or that FM ever sounded good in his car. I'm sure his speakers are a vast improvement when using something other than FM.

The problem I had with FM was when it would switch between HD and regular radio. That makes the sound change drastically. Since DTP and I live in the same general area, I suspect he may be having the same issue. While we have HD radio, it does not consistently stay in HD mode when driving in suburban areas. Just a thought...
 

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2011 WRX 5MT
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BTW, phenryiv1 I've sent you an email requesting to purchase these four speaker adapters.
I could not log in here for a week...weird. Just now getting caught up on things.

The new (revised) prototypes went out today. I hope to have him fit test them in the next week. The rears are unchanged but the fronts are a complete re-vamp. I am not 100% sure on the mounting "ears" with a 3/4" material and the interference with the door panels, so I'll await the feedback before I commit to making the front adapters for anyone else.



I have 3 different thicknesses of material (and can source more, if needed). If we determine that we need a thinner material to allow the door panel to fit properly, I will make the adjustment with different material but we started out with 3/4" to give the greatest mounting depth.

I cannot recall- was anyone able to get a mounting depth from the inner door skin to the window (when down)? If that measurement is deep enough we may just need mounting adapters and spacers won't be necessary. If that is the case, a thinner material would be used, thus making fitting the door panels more simple.
 

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Those look exactly the same as the ones I made. My only recommendation is you will need to shave just a little little bit off of those front adapter ears. It will be tight in all corners, except bottom right.
 

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Those look exactly the same as the ones I made. My only recommendation is you will need to shave just a little little bit off of those front adapter ears. It will be tight in all corners, except bottom right.
After getting your email I will be making adjustments to the template. I want the tester to confirm the mounting hole placement is accurate (it matched up with the measurements that you sent me plus measurements from another '14 owner) I can tighten up those tolerances.
 
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